Finding the ‘right people for the right seat’

Bob Greenwood wants the aftermarket to hit the delete button on “trade.”

Speaking Sunday for a second consecutive year at Service Opportunities Learning Days (SOLD) in Las Vegas before Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), Greenwood says the aftermarket of tomorrow will be defined by young people entering the industry today. And he says those youth have no use for “trades.”

Young people want careers.

Greenwood says the aftermarket has that in spades, but marketing such positions as “trade” careers is actively turning off the very people the industry needs to hire.

“Get that word out [trade] of your vocabulary. Stop using it,” says Greenwood, president and CEO at Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre. “We need to take the aftermarket from a trade to a profession, because that’s what this is.”

During Sunday’s comprehensive workshop, Greenwood offered tips on how aftermarket business leaders of today can alter their hiring and employee retention processes to best prepare their operations for the future.

The latter of which, he says, is a fundamental responsibility of any business owner.

“An owner of a business is a position within a business and it must be taken very seriously,” Greenwood says. An owner is must remain “accountable to the company and to the team” for everyone to thrive, he says.

That starts by ditching negative stigma, such as “trade,” and continues by taking advantage of any opportunity available to find new talent.

And when selling your position and your busines, don’t sell yourself short. The aftermarket today is a high-speed, high-tech industry, Greenwood says, and that’s what young people want to do.

He strongly advises dumping by-the-word classifed listings of old for online-based tools. He says online job posting sites allow an aftermarket business to post their available listing not just to local candidates, but to any interested job seeker nationwide.

“Who knows how many people might be willing to move to your area?” Greenwood says.

Online application methods (such as focused questionnaires, video applications and employer-employee compatability tests) also can determine a candidate’s interest in a simple, cost-effective manner that ensures candidates contacted for interviews are serious about getting the job.

“Never hire a person again who wants a job. Hire people who want a career,” Greenwood says.

And don’t think of a new hire, or any employee, for that matter, as an expense. Greenwood says that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“Competent people make money for your business, so why would you consider them a cost?” he says. “A good staff is an investment in your business.”

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